Trump Jr. says Sanders won't be 'real competition' if he's the nominee

Trump Jr. says Sanders won't be 'real competition' if he's the nominee
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WEST MANCHESTER, N.H. — Donald Trump Jr. said Tuesday that while there are some policy and messaging similarities between President TrumpDonald John TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump faces backlash after not committing to peaceful transition of power Bernie Sanders: 'This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump stokes fears over November election outcome MORE (I-Vt.), he doesn’t see the Vermont senator as “real competition” in a potential general matchup.

Sitting in the corner booth of the Chez Vachon diner in West Manchester with his girlfriend Kimberly GuilfoyleKimberly Ann GuilfoyleKid Rock opens Trump rally by saying 'fake media' will say it didn't happen Kid Rock to headline Trump rally in Michigan Pence set to attend fundraiser hosted by couple who shared QAnon posts MORE, the chairwoman of the Trump Victory Finance Committee, Trump Jr. telegraphed new attacks the campaign will launch against Sanders, who is the favorite to win New Hampshire's Democratic primary Tuesday.

Trump Jr. said in an interview with The Hill that even though the president and Sanders both have energized supporters and a populist message on issues like trade, his father can point to the recently ratified United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and his dealings with China as hard evidence of his commitment to leveling the playing field for working class voters.

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Sanders, Trump Jr. said, talks a big game on those issues but backs down from fights when the going gets tough.

“Bernie’s been in [Congress] for 30 years. What has he done? There’s a difference between talking about fighting and actually fighting,” Trump Jr. said before pointing to the 2016 Democratic race between Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFox News poll: Biden ahead of Trump in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio Trump, Biden court Black business owners in final election sprint The power of incumbency: How Trump is using the Oval Office to win reelection MORE.

“You saw what happened with him and Hillary. You saw what happened to him in Iowa. Is Bernie really a fighter? It’s one thing to give a stump speech and say something but he got steamrolled by the party last time and then he goes and endorses Hillary. ... I don’t see it being real competition,” Trump Jr. said.

Still, Trump Jr. says he’s seen firsthand the potential overlap between Trump and Sanders. He said he was stuck in an elevator in New Hampshire with Sanders supporters who told him that if the Vermont senator does not win the nomination, they’ll vote for Trump.

And Trump Jr. said he finds common cause with Sanders, arguing that both are treated unfairly by the news media.

“Without question,” Trump Jr. said. “I don’t think they treat him nearly as bad as they do us, but they have stepped up their game against him since his numbers have gone up.”

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But he said that at the end of the day, he thinks voters will be scared off by Sanders’s embrace of socialism. 

“Those things he’s sort of pushing are going to be scary for a lot of people, so I don’t know that the overlap is so much,” he said.

Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle ordered french toast and crepes at Chez Vachon, the decades-old establishment in a working class neighborhood of West Manchester. They were swarmed for pictures by the surprised morning breakfast crowd.

A retired electrician sitting nearby said he wished he hadn’t left his MAGA hat in his truck. An older woman named Claudette sat down at their booth to dispense relationship advice.

“Take your time,” she told them, before planting a kiss on Trump Jr.’s cheek. 

Trump visited the same diner around this time in 2016 ahead of his victory in the New Hampshire primary.

On Tuesday, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom EmmerThomas (Tom) Earl EmmerHouse Democrats' campaign arm reserves .6M in ads in competitive districts The Hill's Convention Report: Trump to attack Biden at final night of convention | Speech comes amid hurricane, racial justice protests | Biden accuses Trump of 'rooting' for violence Republicans cast Trump as best choice for women MORE (R-Minn.) walked through introducing himself to customers and asking them to vote for Trump in the New Hampshire primary, which the president is expected to win in a landslide.

Looking ahead to the general election, Trump Jr. said turning New Hampshire from blue to red will be a top priority for the campaign. Clinton carried the Granite State by fewer than 3,000 votes over Trump in 2016.

The president held a huge reelection rally here Monday night that drew more than 12,000 people.

“All the rallies have a lot of energy, but that was intense,” Trump Jr. said. “So I think we can do that. This is a pretty blue state for the most part, but my father’s appeal to that working class America, whether blue or red, it’s there.”

Trump Jr. walked out of the arena to chants of “46” from supporters who want to see him run for president after his father, the 45th president, leaves office. But he said he’s not ready to consider his future in politics at the moment.

“My focus is right now 2020, that’s what it’s got to be,” he said.

On the future of the Democrats, Trump Jr. predicted a long and drawn out fight that would end at a contested convention, which he said would divide the party and benefit Trump.

“The last time they fixed a primary it worked out very well for us, so I don’t want to get in their way,” he said.

Trump Jr. acknowledged that former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergDemocratic groups using Bloomberg money to launch M in Spanish language ads in Florida Bloomberg pays fines for 32,000 felons in Florida so they can vote Top Democratic super PAC launches Florida ad blitz after Bloomberg donation MORE (D) could spend “more than anything any person could ever raise in America” if he makes it to the general election.

“It will be a good test of how much money can buy and how much money can cover up,” he said.

The Bloomberg and Trump families have a history. 

Trump Jr. said he’s friends with Bloomberg’s daughter, Georgina Bloomberg.

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"We know Georgina, she’s always been great to us. We’re friends," Trump Jr. said. "

"When the media has tried to do this us versus them thing, she’s been nothing but nice, nothing but respectful, and I have nothing but nice things to say about her."

But he said that he’ll gladly unload on her father if the general election fight comes down to the two New Yorkers. 

“Unlike what the left tried to do with our family, I wouldn’t bring in his family, I don’t need to do that,” Trump Jr. said. “I will go after him. He kissed my father’s butt plenty of times to be on 'The Apprentice' … and you see all the pictures of him and Ivanka [Trump] and him and my father, and now he’s got a big problem [with us]. It seems mostly ego driven, but that’s OK.”